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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Halcyon


HAL'CYON, noun hal'shon. [Latin halcyon; Gr. a king-fisher.]

The name anciently given to the king-fisher, otherwise called alcedo; a bird that was said to lay her eggs in nests, on rocks near the sea, during the calm weather about the winter solstice. Hence,

HAL'CYON, adjective Calm; quiet; peaceful; undisturbed; happy. halcyon days were seven days before and as many after the winter solstice, when the weather was calm. Hence by halcyon days are now understood days of peace and tranquility.